Suffer by comparison

The other night I went to Wine and Canvas with some of my girl friends. If you have never heard of it you should really check them out. The basic premise of the event is to take a non-artistic person and teach them how to paint a famous or not so famous picture. I totally loved it! However when I was walking away I began to think about how comparing ourselves to others is crippling.

There were about sixty people in the art studio. “Let’s begin by picking up our number 5 brush” the leader begins. With that, the comparing started. What everyone really heard was “Pick up your number 5 brush and look at your neighbor’s picture, promptly make a mental note that you will not be as good as that person. Let’s begin.”

How often do we make ourselves suffer by comparing our life to someone else’s? We look at someone who has on the cutest outfit and think “My outfit is dumb” or you see someone who is in better shape than you and think “I am a lard-0”. That’s right, these have been my thoughts, I do this and I hate it. I compare myself to others and I’m sure people compare themselves to me. Why do we do this? How have we become so insecure that we beat ourselves up over what someone else has. I am a very confident person and yet, I compare. This is certainly not how we should live.

As I painted I felt great and focused then the art of comparison hit me in the face when I looked up and noticed that the artist’s painting was better than mine. “Crap, yours is way better than mine” I said to her. She leaned down and said “I’ve painted this picture 26 times”. I continued to remind myself of that. She has had months worth of practice. That’s when I realized I needed to stop comparing myself against anyone else. My standard is mine alone. I need to own how amazing I am and not compare myself to anyone else. I also need to not let others negative opinions leak in and effect me. I have a¬†tendency to take to heart what people say that is negative but I don’t accept the positive. Everyday I try to live my life according to what God says about me and not what anyone else says. Some days are harder than others but I don’t want to compare my life to anyone except Jesus. Who else has suffered by comparison?

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